Red Tails! Must See!

I’ve always been fascinated with history in general and was so excited to see Red Tails because I wanted to support the film.  But after reading the controversial posts about Red Tails, I was disappointed but even more anxious to see the film for myself.

I was most disturbed by the comments posted about the lack of historical content in the film.  I  wish people could see the bigger picture.   This is an opportunity to show Hollywood that black films can be successful without degrading our culture by appearing ignorant or obnoxiously self righteous.  It’s not like Red Tails was a minstrel show.  It was “inspired by true events.”  And the cast was excellent.  After reading so many comments it seemed as if there was some expectation for George Lucas to make an educational film.  WAKE UP PEOPLE! You must take responsibility and educate your children.  I say we must take responsibility because of my own experience.

I grew up in a household where we read and watched documentaries about Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, and Dorothy Dandridge long before seeing the movies.  We discussed concepts like apartheid and gentrification.  I remember the day my parents took me to see Nelson Mandela when he visited Harlem.  I was only 5 years old.  My exchanges with people like Ambassador Dudley Thompson and Randall Robinson made their books and history come to life!  So when I did go see Malcolm X, Glory, Amistad and Sarafina etc. I was familiar with the content.  There are so many free resources available to educate ourselves.

I’ve also seen many posts about the interracial relationship between Lightning and the Italian woman.  She was the only love interest in the film, which made sense to me since there weren’t loads of black women living in that region at the time.  Even now, think about the number of military men who marry or date women outside of the race because of their assignment.  Besides, how many women don’t like a man in a uniform who looks like he has something going on for himself?  I think the love story humanized Lightning.

I’m glad I saw the movie on opening night. I’ve been digging even further into the history of the Red Tails, African American women who were pilots and other Tuskegee experiments.  I just hope that people will be excited about the fact that a part of the “Red Tails” story is being told, see the bigger picture and support the film.

 

Whites have become black?!

I came across this video and just want to share. Nabil Abdul Rashid says what I and many others have been thinking and saying. The use of basic critical thinking skills and intelligent thoughts shown in this video to refute the opinion of a popular historian are just incredible. He discusses the prejudice that society has against black culture. Society sees certain negative acts as being specific to the entire black population and disregards those same acts as being universal regardless of the color of someones skin. 

This particular historian, David Starkey, in 2011 during the England riots claims ‘whites have become black” because they are acting out violently. He blames Jamaican immigrants for “intruding” on English culture and hip-hop for promoting rioting. Of course no one in their right mind would belive that before the riots white people across the globe were never violent until black people started to influence them. Violence is a human behavior regardless of color of skin. I wont say that there isn’t behavior specific to different cultures and there are certain meaningless acts we attribute to certain cultures based on race. Black people have rhythm, they can dance and always talking back to the movie screen. White people wear flip flops in freezing cold weather and always run towards danger to “investigate” (which I find to be so true but hey its just an opinion). Regardless of how true these statements may be at the end of the day we are all human with the same genes and same potential to display the same behaviors. Race is always thrown out first as a reason for someones action instead of looking at class and privilege. Ignoring social and economic factors in terms of behavior is deceiving.

Simply put-Read books. Know your own history, tell your story before someone else tries to. Challenge and question.

Please enjoy and feel free to share your opinion.

Make this year a great one!

Happy New Year and Melkam Genna.  We are exactly one week into the year 2012 and celebrating Christmas today according to the Ethiopian calendar.  I had a wonderful holiday season.  Traveled to various places and spent time with lots of loved ones.  I’m hoping all of our readers did too.  Most people use the holidays to rejuvenate, make resolutions and prepare for movements in the coming new year.  I charge each of you to make 2012 even better 2011.  Help someone in need, reinvent yourself, take a trip somewhere you’ve never been and contribute to the community.  I’m sending much love, light and well wishes to all of you. Let’s make this year a great one!

Art Basel Miami Beach 2011

What a weekend I’ve had!!! So I spent the last two weekends enjoying the cool breeze and palm trees in Miami. I decided late Friday night that I would try my best to catch the first flight to check out Art Basel Miami Beach. Set back #1. The alarm was set but I didn’t hear it. So I jumped out of bed got ready, grabbed a few things and rushed to the airport. I checked in online, cleared security and boarded the plane just in time for take off. YES!!! I was on my way. My mother was anxious to attend the festivities with me so I just knew she would be at the airport waiting. Set back #2. FLAT TIRE! At that point I had no idea how long it would be until I met with my crew to hit the streets. Soooo what does a girl like me do? Find the nearest spot to get my toes beach ready. ;) As soon as I’m finished I walk out of the airport my crew is there waiting for me. So I call out to the the Universe. “No more set backs. I only have 32 hours to get it in!”

Off to Native Films to shoot Merid Tafesse, a Contemporary Fine Artist visiting from Ethiopia. Tafesse was creating a huge masterpiece in the Wynwood Art Disctrict. Jimmy Malcolm accompanied him with soulful sounds on the piano. Mixed media on canvas and live music in the same space. I felt like I was watching the ultimate duet. Two major forms of art being created simultaneously in front of my eyes.

It was getting late I was hungry so I walked around the corned to a small Jamaican restaurant a new friend suggested. Of course the person who made the suggestion isn’t Jamaican nor would he understand why I never eat Jamaican food out but I thought I would give it a try. The rice and peas lacked some essential flavor but wasn’t too bad but, the brown stew and red velvet cake won me over. Nourishing dinner and a pleasant surprise. I love sweets.

I was exhausted but had to push through to check out more of the festivities. Since the Rubell Family Collection was near I tried to catch that and managed to see Art Africa, Moksha Art Fair and a few other places Saturday night. The next morning I was up early to prepare for the 2nd Annual Art Basel Panel Discussion on Contemporary African Diaspora Fine Art, which was held at the University of Miami, College of Arts and Science. The panel featured Tafesse, Howard Mills, Valerie Cooper, Dr. Meghoo, Armando Marino and Ludlow Bailey. The audience engaged the panel after initial presentations with some heated comments and questions pertaining to the advancement of African Diaspora Fine Art in America. Tafesse and Marino gave great insight on artist success over seas as well. The panel discussion was very informative and I look forward to the next one. I had a light lunch then went to the main event at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

WOW. At first I had no words. I saw the sea of people and thought I’d be so overwhelmed but I wasn’t. I couldn’t believe the collections. My time was limited so I saw a small portion of the galleries represented at the main event. Jack Shainman and Alexander Gray Associates were most memorable. Aside from the piece Tafesse completed the night before I must admit I fell in love with the Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare. I have no words to explain his genius. You just have to check it out for yourself. With just a few hours before my flight home I stopped by the Kehinde Wiley fish fry at the Shore Club. His work is simply amazing! I had a wonderful night. What a fabulous way to end a 32 hour trip. And I made it to the airport just in time to board the plane once again.

I can’t wait to attend Art Basel next year!

Feature Image: Artwork by Kehinde Wiley

Top Right Image: Artwork by Merid Tafesse

Bottom Right Image: Artwork by Yinka Shonibare

Hide your uterus..Mississippi wants to ban abortions.

Today voters in Mississippi are up against Proposition 26 which would introduce the toughest anti-abortion restrictions in America by giving all fertilised embryos the same rights of people.

If passed the “personhood amendment”, would redefine the term “person” to begin at the point of conception, which would ban abortion. They could restrict in-vitro fertilization, which typically involves fertilising several eggs and then using just one or two. There will limited access to birth-controls that prevent embryos from implanting in a woman’s uterus, such as intrauterine devices.

I am pro-choice. So naturally I am against this proposition. I am looking at the consequences of this admendment. It literally forces a female to give up her own “personhood” and constitutional rights at the moment of conception. I don’t want the government with their hands in my uterus. It takes away our right to choose. A women may be placed in a position where she may be charged with MURDER for not keeping the child. Women who face pregnancy complications would be unable to terminate the pregnancy. Ending an ectopic pregnancy WOULD NOT be considered self-defense even though ectopic pregnancies remain the leading cause of pregnancy-related death in the first trimester of pregnancy.  If the right to abortion is taken away, then women would only resort to self-induced or back-alley abortions. So anyone could claim to perform them, and with no other alternatives women would be dying due to infections, unsterilized instruments and conditions, and improperly performed procedures. It is a lot to demand of a women who is raped to give birth and keep the child. The morning after pill will also be illegal, and if a woman is raped she will be required to carry the baby to term and put the baby up for adoption if she chooses.  Could you imagine if you got pregnant by being raped and then having your rapists baby? Yes, I know it is not the baby’s fault but how many women could actually raise that child without some type of emotional toll or resentment? I personally don’t know what I would do but I do know I don’t want someone else to make that decision for me.

If this passes in Mississippi, it will encourage this amendment to be put on ballots in key states such as Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin next year, affecting millions of women. This proposition will do more harm than good. It will almost be impossible to please everyone when it comes to abortion that is why it should be the woman’s choice to decide what is right for her body, her life. Proposition 26 is not the answer.

Voting in your state and local polls are so important, more important than voting for president. Know the issues and vote responsibly.

Happy Christopher ComeBusUs Day!

This morning I would have been up at 5:30 am to get ready to go to school.  Instead I slept in, had a great breakfast and completed a few chores.  It is nice to have a long weekend from time to time but this holiday doesn’t mean much more to me. In fact, the principle behind this holiday is disheartening.  Each year on the second Monday of October, Christopher Columbus and his invasion in the West is celebrated as a federal holiday.  Some school districts, federal institutions and banks are closed for Columbus Day.  Though memorialized for the first time in 1972 in New York City, Columbus day became a federal holiday under President Roosevelt.  We really need to rethink this day and which honors the tragic and brutal annihilation of the indigenous people who were “so called” discovered.

Below is a link for the Native America Rights Fund. This is a non profit that provides assistance for tribes, individuals and organizations. They also post information about events and ways to donate.

http://www.narf.org/

Black Girls Run Atlanta!

Last night my sister came over and told us about a group she has been running with called Black Girls Run.  She demanded that we wake up early to meet her at the starting point by 7 a.m.  I like to sleep in on the weekends but not this morning.  My mother woke up around 5:45 a.m. and I was up just a few minutes after.  (She is visiting for a few weeks. YEAY!)  We got our sweats on and grabbed some fruit.  Then jumped in the car and met the other ladies in the running group.  The air was brisk, the roads were clear and we were in a half sleep state awaiting our 3 mile run.  Which at 7 in the morning seems like 300 miles.  Especially since none of us had worked out in a while.  Upon arrival we noticed my sister followed by about 50 other cars that filled the parking lot.  Then it was time to run.  Just before receiving our route I counted approximately 75 (black girls).  It was so amazing to see so many beautiful women of all ages gathered to run this Saturday morning.  We hit the pavement together then branched off to our 3, 5 and 7 miles journeys to fitness.  Within one hour all of us had completed our respective runs.  I completed 3 miles.  As we gathered to cheer each other on at the finish line a huge 18 wheeler passed by, blowing his loud Mack truck horn and threw up the peace sign…  a sign of respect to the sweaty sistahs.  What a great way to start the day! To find out more information about Black Girls Run check out their blog at http://www.blackgirlsrun.com

If you are in the Atlanta area check out the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/BlackGirlsRUNAtlanta/

Here’s to your health!

Occupy The Nation

Occupy Wall Street was formed to draw attention to the role powerful financial interests played in wreaking havoc on America’s economy. “The participation of every person, and every organization, that has an interest in returning the US back into the hands of its individual citizens is required.”

Occupy Wall Street is a “leaderless resistance movement” orchestrated through Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools. The Twitter hashtags #OccupyWallStreet and #TakeWallStreet lit up with coordination messages and solidarity tweets.

OCCUPY THE PLANET!!!

Look at the links below and join your city’s occupation movement and take back your freedom!  And remember to keep it peaceful.  Viva la rEVOLution!

EVENTS

EAST

@OccupyWallSt (New York, NY)           LIVESTREAM

@OccupyWallStNYC (New York, NY)     LIVESTREAM

@OccupyInfo (New York, NY)               LIVESTREAM

@Occupy_Boston (Boston, MA)           LIVESTREAM

@OccupyBaltimore (Baltimore, MD)

@Occupybuffalo (Buffalo, NY)            

@OccupyVermont (Vermont)

@OccupyBGM  (Binghamton, NY)

@OccupyUtica (Utica, NY)

@OccupyIthaca (Ithaca, NY)

@occupyhrva (Hampton Roads, VA)

@OccupyPhilly (Philadelphia, PA)

@OccupyRichmond (Richmond, VA)

@OccupyKSt  (Washington, DC)

@OccupyNewark  (Newark, NJ)

@OccupyProv (Providence, RI)

@occupypitt (Pittsburgh, PA)

@OCCUPY_ALBANYNY  (Albany, NY)

@OccupyMaine (Portland, ME)

@OccupyNewHaven (New Haven, CT)

@OccupyHartford (Hartford, CT)


MID-WEST

@OccupyChicago (Chicago, IL)             LIVESTREAM

@OccupyMadison  (Madison, WI) 

@OccupyCincy  (Cincinnati, OH) 

@OccupyMilwaukee (Milwaukee, WI)

@occupygreenbay (Green Bay, WI)

@OccupyMemorial  (Kansas City, MO)  LIVESTREAM

@OccupyKC (Kansas City, MO)             LIVESTREAM

@occupywichita  (Wichita, KS)

@OccupyMN (Minnesota)

@OccupyMpls (Minneapolis, MN)

@OccupyCleveland (Cleveland, OH)

@OccupySTL (St. Louis, MO)

@OccupyAppleton (Appleton, WI)

@OccupyCOMO (Columbus, MO)

@OccupyIndy (Indianapolis, IN)

 @OccupyFortWayne  (Fort Wayne, IN)  

@OccupyOsu  (Oklahoma State University)

@OccupyYoungstow (Youngstown, OH)

@OccupyTulsa (Tulsa, OK)

@OccupyToledo (Toledo, OH)

@OccupyIowa  (Des Moines, IA)

@OccupyDetroit21 (Detroit, MI)

@OccupyStJoseph (St. Joseph,MO)


SOUTH

@OccupyLexKy  (Lexington, KY)

@OccupyLou (Louisville, KY)

@OccupyBham (Birmingham, AL)

@OccupyNOLA (New Orleans, LA)        LIVESTREAM

@OccupyCharlotte (Charlotte, NC)

@OccupyRaleigh (Raleigh, NC)

@OccupyHouston (Houston, TX)          LIVESTREAM

@occupyarkansas (Arkansas)

@OWSAtlanta (Atlanta, GA)

@Occupy_N_GA_now (Northern Georgia)

@occupycolumbus (Columbus, GA)

@OccupySavannah (Savannah SC)

@OccupyAustin (Austin, TX)                LIVESTREAM

@OccupyFlorida (Florida) 

@OccupyTampa (Tampa, FL)

@OccupyNashville (Nashville, TN)

@OccupyMiami (Miami, FL)

@OccupyJax (Jacksonville, FL)

@OccupyOrlandoFL (Orlando, FL)

@OccupyTallie (Tallahasee, FL)

@OccupyPensacola (Pensacola, FL)

@OccupySarasota (Sarasota, FL)

@OccupyGvilleFL (Gainesville, FL)

@OccupyPSL (Port St. Lucie, FL)

@OccupyAVL (Asheville, NC)

@OccupyNCGBORO (Greensboro, NC)

@OccupySanAnto  (San Antonio, TX)

@occupyelpaso (El Paso, TX)

@OccupyClarksvil (Clarksville, TN)

@OccupyCHA  (Chattanooga, TN)

@OccupyKnoxville (Knoxville, TN)

@OccupyJackson (Jackson, MS)

@OccupyColumbia (Columbia, SC) 

@OccupyFlorence (Florence, SC)

@OccupyHsv (Huntsville, AL)


WEST

@OccupySacto (Sacramento, CA)

@OccupyDenver  (Denver, CO)

@Occupy_SEATTLE (Seattle, WA) 

@OccupyWA  (Olympia, WA)

@OccupyTacoma  (Tacoma WA)

@OccupySanJose (San Jose, CA)

@OccupySantaCruz (Santa Cruz, CA)

@Occupyportland (Portland, OR)           LIVESTREAM

@occupyeugene (Eugene, OR)

@OccupySF (San Francisco, CA)            LIVESTREAM

@OccupyLA (Los Angeles, CA)              LIVESTREAM

@OccupyLasVegas (Las Vegas, NV)       LIVESTREAM

@OccupyReno (Reno, NV) 

@occupyphoenix (Phoenix, AZ)

@OccupyTucson (Tuscon, AZ)

@OccupyCSU (California State University)

@occupy_slc  (Salt Lake City)

@OccupyBurque (Albuquerque, NM)

@OccupySantaFe (Santa Fe, NM)

@OccupyRiverside (Riverside, CA)

@OccupySR (Santa Rosa, CA)

@OccupySpokane (Spokane, WA)

@OccupyHawaii (Hawaii)


CANADA

@OccupyToronto (Toronto, ON)

@OccupyVancouver (Vancouver, BC)

@OccupyOttawa (Ottawa, ON)

@OccupyWinnipeg (Winnipeg, MB)

@OccupyVictoria (Victoria, BC)

@OccupyNB (New Brunswick)

@OccupyNS (Halifax, NS)

@OccupyHalifax (Halifax, NS)

@OccupyMontreal (Montreal, QB)

@OccupyYEG (Edmonton, AB)

@OccupyPEI  (Prince Edward Island)


UNITED KINGDOM

@OccupyMCR  (Manchester)

@OccupyGlasgow (Glasgow)

@OccupyEdinburgh (Edinburgh)

@OccupyStAndrews (St. Andrews)

@OccupyLondon (London)

@OccupyBelfast (Belfast)

@OccupyNorwich (Norwich)


AUSTRALIA

@occupySYDNEY (Sydney)

@OccupyPerth (Perth)

@OccupyBrisbane (Brisbane) 

@OccupyMELBOURNE (Melbourne)

@OccupyAdelaide (Adelaide)

EUROPE

@occupyadam (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

@OccupyDenHaag (The Hague, Netherlands)

@OccupyRotterdam (Rotterdam, Netherlands)

@OccupyParis (Paris, France)

@OccupySwiss (Zurich, Switzerland)

@OccupyDublin (Dublin, Ireland)

@OccupyLjubljana   (Ljubljana, Slovenia)  LIVESTREAM

@occupybrussels (Brussels, Belgium)

@OccupyFrankfurt (Frankfurt, Germany)


JAPAN

@OccupyTokyo (Tokyo)

LATIN AMERICA

@OccupyTijuana (Tijuana, Mexico)

 @OccupyBrazil (Brasilia, Brazil)

@OccupyArgentina (Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

 

WE ARE THE 99%. CITIZENS AGAINST CORPORATE GREED AND CORRUPTION. OCCUPY THE NATION.

I am Troy Davis.

Wednesday September 21, 2011 at 11:08pm Troy Anthony Davis was executed in Jackson, Georgia.

I am against the death penalty in all cases and so I was deeply effected by this case. To kill a potentially innocent man with so much doubt is disheartening. I sat with a heavy heart last night as they executed Davis. I am now left with this overwhelming feeling of sadness but also a stronger desire to fight for human rights. I saw the face of my little brother, cousin and friend. They are Troy Davis. I saw a purpose in all of this unfortunate sorrow to end the death penalty, for prison reform and justice. I can not sit blindly to tragedy and injustice.

I am Troy Davis.

My prayers are with the family of Troy Davis and Mark MacPhail. Two lives lost does not make it right.

A message from Troy Davis:

I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.

As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.

I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist.

So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.

I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,

“I AM TROY DAVIS, and I AM FREE!”

Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We will Win!

For more information on the death penalty and how you can help: Amnesty International, Innocene Project and Death Penalty Info

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